According to The Wall Street Journal (here), Federal Court Judge Frederic Block expressed frustration with the apparent indifference Brooklyn (NY) District Attorney Charles Hynes has shown in response to the “aberrational behavior” of one of his top prosecutors in a case that led to the wrongful conviction of Jabbar Collins in the 1994 murder of Rabbi Abraham Pollack.
Collins, a 10th grade drop-out with high school equivalency and some college, proclaimed his innocence and dedicated himself in prison to utilizing state and federal records laws to obtain information about his case. He bumped into Continue reading
The federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that police officers and prosecutors are not immune from being sued for alleged constitutional violations. Herb Whitlock and Gordon “Randy” Steidl spent 21 and 17 years respectively in prison before key witnesses recanted, important evidence was deemed unreliable, and they were released. According to the Chicago Tribune here, the ruling will permit Whitlock and Steidl to sue for what Steidl alleged was a “17-year conspiracy Continue reading
In dueling commentaries in the Austin (TX) newspaper The Statesman, Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley here and John Raley (eight-year pro bono attorney on the Innocence Project team that represented Michael Morton) here, are giving voters two versions of why Michael Morton spent an extra 2,400 days in prison for a crime he did not commit. At stake is an election in which Bradley is struggling to keep his job. Bradley, who has been a popular tough-on-crime prosecutor in Texas for ten years, is trying to refocus the race on anything but the issue that is dominating it: His long record of resisting a second look at the conviction of Michael Morton.
For those who have observed prosecutorial resistance to post-conviction DNA testing that eventually proved a wrongful conviction, the story is tragically familiar. Continue reading
Millions of Americans had their eyes opened to two important criminal justice issues—prosecutorial misconduct and wrongful conviction compensation—as national television news programs explored topics related to wrongful conviction last night, Sunday, March 25, 2012. Ohio Innocence Project Director Mark Godsey previously announced these programs on this blog. If you missed them, see the video link here to the 14-minute segment of CBS’s 60 MINUTES with Michael Morton, who spent 25 years in prison before DNA proved he didn’t murder his wife. The piece explores the case that has prompted a rare judicial inquiry into allegations of prosecutorial Continue reading
Posted in Compensation/Exoneree compensation, Editorials/Opinion, Life after exoneration, North America, Prosecutorial conduct (good and bad), Reforming/Improving the system
Tagged 60 Minutes, After Innocence, CNN, Ken Anderson, Michael Morton, Nancy Petro, prosecutorial misconduct, wrongful conviction compensation
Governor Rick Scott has formally apologized “on behalf of the state of Florida” for the 27 years William Dillon spent in prison for a crime he did not commit. He has also signed a claims bill of $1.35 million. It took another three years of Dillon’s life to navigate the process of getting compensation from the state. But Dillon remains unsettled over the thought of others wrongfully convicted by the now deceased John Preston, Brevard County authorities’ go-to witness whose German shepherd had quite a nose. Preston claimed he could pick up a scent in the middle of a lake Continue reading